Skip to main content

The Journal Gazette

Friday, March 15, 2019 1:00 am

Wells Fargo boss gets raise

5% bump, $2 million bonus day after House grilling

Renae Merle | The Washington Post

WASHINGTON – Lawmakers scolded Wells Fargo chief executive Tim Sloan for hours on Tuesday, telling him the bank had not done enough to rehabilitate itself after years of scandals about its practices toward customers. Some called for Sloan to be fired.

The next day, the bank's board of directors gave Sloan a 5 percent raise, increasing his total compensation to $18.4 million. Of that, $2 million is an “annual incentive award” – in other words, a bonus.

Sloan's pay is now 283 times the median pay of the bank's more than 200,000 employees.

The bonus was based on Wells Fargo's “financial performance” and Sloan's “continued leadership on the Company's top priority of rebuilding trust,” the company said in its annual letter to shareholders. The company's stock price fell 27 percent last year in a tough market, but its yearly profit rose to $22.4 billion compared with $22.2 billion in 2017, and the company's board noted that Sloan had led a massive stock buyback program.

“Another raise for the Wells Fargo CEO in the midst of more scandals and fumbling Congressional testimony. This is not how fair and competitive markets are supposed to work,” Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., who questioned the sincerity of Wells Fargo's efforts to reform itself during Tuesday's House Financial Services Committee hearing, said on Twitter.

Meanwhile, one of Wells Fargo's chief regulators, the Federal Reserve, distanced itself from Sloan's pay increase.

“The Federal Reserve does not approve pay packages. We expect boards of directors to hold management accountable,” the agency said in a statement.

To be sure, despite his raise, Sloan earns less than many of his competitors. Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, earned $31 million last year after the bank reported record profits. Bank of America's Brian Moynihan received a 15 percent raise to $26.5 million. Michael Corbat of Citigroup earned $24 million last year.